Wellness retreats, self care minibreaks and mindfulness workshops are all the rage these days. You don’t have to look too hard to find an event or workshop that encourages enlightenment and wellbeing. I could desperately do with both but seriously out of practise so when I set off to try out a new retreat in beautiful Lyme Regis, I wasn’t sure I really had the time to unwind.
Lyn and Jason, the owners of award winning hotel Dorset House
, have created their own brand of seasonal retreat focusing on elements that we all need more of in our busy lives. They have combined their personal passion for wellbeing with excellent food, great surroundings and expert contributors in a skilfully balanced three day timetable of experiences and relaxation.
Unsurprisingly exercise is key and each day begins with an entirely voluntary 7am sea swim. Keen to embrace every moment however crazy, a few of us braved the icy dip and then bounced back to the rest of the group to share tales of courage and a spectacular sunrise. We quickly warmed up during a 90 minute yoga class. Led by renowned local instructor Sam Neale, each of the five sessions throughout the retreat had a different focus including breathing methods, meditation and candle gazing. Sam is a master at judging capabilities and tailoring each practice accordingly so we all felt we were challenged but not exhausted.
A two hour workshop is scheduled each day so on the first we spent the morning with fermentation instructor, Tiffany Jesse (singled out by Observer Food Monthly as one to watch in the food world). Tiffany’s indisputable passion and knowledge for gut health inspired us all as she demonstrated how to make kombutcha, jun and kefir, sharing tastings and tips. We were given pots of alien like scoby and kefir grains with a pack of instructions to get us started at home. I may have better luck keeping this under control than my own children.
The second day the author and creative writing teacher, Janis Lane, introduced us to bullet journaling, sharing her secrets for organising and calming an overwhelmed mind and life. Janis treated us to new Leuchtterm journals and set us on the road to system salvation. As a girl who loves a list, I thought I was pretty good at bullet points but a couple of hours with Janis transformed my thinking.
There is time in the schedule to explore Lyme Regis and nothing obligatory about the exercise or workshops but it would be mad to miss them, or the welcome dinner on the first evening. Lyn’s considered menu of locally sourced, seasonally inspired dishes was utterly delicious and a great way to meet fellow retreat guests before heading to the sofas in the snug to browse the well stocked honesty bar. Likewise breakfasts at Dorset House are for champions – we were all in heaven at the large scrubbed pine table in the aga warmed kitchen, eating bowls of homemade granola with compote, fresh coffee brewing, Lyn’s perfectly poached eggs on homemade sourdough and swigging Jason’s beetroot, apple and ginger juice shots. Right there and then I began to unwind. The next wellness and yoga retreat at Dorset House runs from 27th to 29th March. To find out more go to www.dorsethouselyme.com or call them on 01297 442055.